I know. I know. You hate the idea of marketing or promoting.
You don’t even want to think about building a platform.
It all makes your stomach hurt.
But here’s the thing: an email list is an author’s most powerful tool.
I can’t stress that enough.
Look. The best time to start building that list is five years ago. Second best time? Today.
So today, we’re going to get started with that.
Figure Out Where You’ll Keep Your List
I use ConvertKit to manage my email list. If you have a little money to invest in this part of your business, ConvertKit is amazing. Of all the things you could spend your writing business money on, ConvertKit would be high on my list. Like number one.
ConvertKit super simple to use, the people who run it are amazing, and it’s just got a lovely interface that even a techie-black-thumb like me can’t screw it up.
If you don’t want to or can’t spend any money right now, you can start at Mail Chimp, which has a limited free option.
If the idea of an email server overwhelms you right now, you can also just open your notebook and start writing down a list of emails. But I would really like for you to get signed up with either ConvertKit or Mail Chimp today. It won’t take you more than a few minutes.
And then, go out and get your first emails.
First, ask someone you know if they’d like to be on your list. It can be your mom. Your best friend. Just tell them that you’re building an email list and ask if they’d like to be on it.
Next, copy this:
Hey, Ninjas! My name is __________ and I’m writing a _______________ book about _____________. If that’s your thing, would you like to be on my mailing list?
Here’s what mine would look like:
Hey, Ninjas! My name is Shaunta and I’m writing a Robin Hood retelling that’s set in modern Las Vegas. If that’s your thing, would you like to be on my mailing list?
And then post it on our Facebook group. A bunch of people are going to be posting something similar. When you see a Ninja writing something that peaks your interest, contact them. Trade email addresses with them.
I think that you can get your first ten email subscribers today. I know for sure you can get at least one.
Both ConvertKit and Mail Chimp have a way for you to make pages where people can go to fill out a form to get on your list. Do that, if you’re up for it and can figure it out. Teaching you how to do it is beyond the scope of this post. For now, it’s okay to just collect the email address and manually input it into your brand spanking new email server.
Collect your first email, but really–aim for at least ten. If you already have an email list with more than ten names on it? Get ten more!
Post your request on Facebook. Respond to some other requests.
It’s going to be an email party over there! I. Can’t. Wait.